Vhs to digital on a imac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by vegas421a, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. vegas421a macrumors newbie


    Jan 17, 2008
    I want to convert my family vhs tapes to digital files for my imac. Is there any hardware/software that can do this so I can edit my videos.
  2. VoodooDaddy macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2003
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    A very good way to do this is to get a mini DV camera. Even a really cheap used one will work. Almost all of these have a "pass through" feature. This means you connect some source (like your VHS player) to the mini DV camera's "video in" jack and then you connect the camera's Firewire to the computer. iMovie will sore the video into a DV format file. Then you edit using iMovie. If you don't like iMovie Final Cut Express will do the same thing. A cheap camera works fine because you are no using the lens or sensor so these don't matter

    There are other video converters on the market but
    • you may already own a mini DV camera
    • the quality of the conversion is very good with no compression artifacts
    • If you put tape in the camera you can make a backup at the same time

    The advantage of using DV format is that when editing there is no generational loss many of the other converters produce formats that are not as well suited to editing as is DV. Many of the products on the market are targeted to people who are transferring hollywood movies from VHS or recording off the air broadcasts. People doing this are not going to do much editing and don't need DV format. If you are going to edit your own tapes I assume you want to capture to the best quality format possible. I just copied over about 20+ hours of old VHS tape and some 8mm tape too. It's all on DV tape now.

    Another neat thing about DV is that it carries time code so it can be use be nonlinear editors. These editors don't have to actually move video data ntil the final render is required.
  4. vegas421a thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 17, 2008
  5. amyL macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2008
    vhs to dig cam to computer

    hi there. i have spent all after noon either trying to record to my digital video camera from the vcr, (won't see it.) thinks i want to record from the actual camera. i have it connected to video in, and then to my av on my camera. this plug came with my camera.
    then, i tried using the firewire from my camera to the computer. i movie will not capture anything. i would love a more detailed explaination! apple care even told me it can't be done (directly to computer via the camera!
    thank you
  6. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    If you don't want to edit them, but you just want to transfer them to DVD, then my friend suggested that buying a stand alone tv compatible DVD recorder is a much better choice than trying to go through the computer. Just take the rca cables out of your video camera, stick them into the DVD recorder, and hit the record button.

Share This Page